CHAPPELL: When I talk to you about John J. Catherine, I'm talking to you about me. I've got into more battles about my last name, I've had to make it clear to at least 4 million people that Catherine is my last name not my first. And in the process I have accumulated more numerous contusions, fractures, superficial abrasians, black eyes and bloody noses than can readily be counted by one person.
Now disregard my personal adventures in the field of fisticuffs for the moment, and attune your shell-like ear to the singular story of The Hat, and The Bed, and me.
However, don't get carried away to the extent of thinking of me as Kitty, or Kate, or any of the other diminutives of my last name or I'm quite likely to wrap you smugly over the sconce with a stage brace.
[SFX: shuffling papers and something dropped]
Studio Announcer: Start again from the top, keep it quiet, real quiet... from the top again...
Chappell: Hold on. Seriously Bill, if this story weren't such utter drivel you wouldn't need to threaten to beat up the audicence to make them listen.
Cooper: I just got an idea.
Studio Announcer: Alright bill, hold it hold it... you mind, bill?
Chappell: No, wait, Let's hear it. It's gotta be a better idea than this script.
Cooper: I want another ginger ale.
Chappell: Look, your drinking problem is why we're stuck dealing with this script. Those ginger ales are taking a toll.
Cooper: If I was a drinking man I'd have a double one.
Chappell: Everybody keep Bill Cooper away from the drinks. We've only got a few minutes here to sort this all out. Actually, everybody come on over here and let's talk this thing out.
[SFX: sound of people scurrying on down]
Chappell: Ed, you've read the script. What do you think?
Bit part: Well he musta known what he had in mind.
Conrad: I don't know what the narrator's talking... other half lot of nonsense anyway, I--
Cooper: [interrupts] Okay, have it your way.
Chappell: Look, let's all try to drop the antagonism. We're all friends here.
Cooper: I'm not your friend.
Chappell: I thought we'd got past that incident, Bill. You sure hold a grudge. But we're here to work.
Cooper: That so?
Tell me, is this whole hats on beds thing supposed to create dramatic tension somehow? Is something people have seen in their bedrooms countless times supposed to scare them?
Studio announcer: Well bill?
Cooper: I suppose.
Conrad: Look if I can't understand how do you expect the audience to huh?
Chappell: Alright let's focus. Is this supposed to be a comedy about this bumbling idiot of a failed actor? Maybe it'd help if we could just figure out what genre we're supposed to be working in.
Cooper: Fantastic stories, I guess.
Chappell: Okay, maybe we're getting somewhere. So it's a fantasy. Supernatural stuff. The empty room he goes to is supposed to be a fantasy thing, not just his hangover. The hat on bed curse is supposed to be supernatural. Still a crap script, but maybe we can figure out how to act the parts now.
Conrad: As far as I'm concerned he might as well fill the time with a half hour of music... knows what he wants but I don't.
Chappell: Pull yourself togeather James, you've got like 5 lines and I've got a million.
Studio announcer: Well how 'bout sound?
Chappell: Just do your best, McClintock. There's hardly any effects in this, just a few drunken stumbles I think. I know you're gonna feel silly putting dramatic stings after lines like "he put my hat on the bed", but that's how it goes in this business sometimes.
Studio: Alright once more please. Keep it quiet. Alright, here we go.
Bit part: Will you just do one thing for me to clear this up, start on line 8 for me, page 10, yeah that's it...
Chappell: That dark room bit. I'll read it out.
[SFX: flipping pages]
Chappell: It was dark, black dark, I could hardly see the light from the window. Couldn't see it at all as a matter of fact. Black dark and I was so thirsty, I had to have a drink of water, my mouth was just parched. Well after a while I couldn't stand it any longer so I got up.
Now, the bathroom's here you see. My bed is like this. And the dresser's over here. And there's a chair. I got up, and I couldn't find the light switch. I knew I could find my way in the dark to the bathroom alright, and I did, and I got my drink of water, and my goodness it tasted good. And then I started back to bed.
[to Cooper] Bill, congratulations, I don't think there's ever been a duller minute of radio than that.
Cooper: You forgot somethin.
[SFX: paper rustle]
Chappell: And when I came back, the bed was gone. There wasn't any bed. There wasn't any chair, where I knew the chair was. And the dresser was gone too. There wasn't anything in the room. I wandered around there in the dark for ever so long, there wasn't anything in the room I tell you.
I guess this is like a metaphor for your imagination, Bill. All dried up after a hundred plus episodes. Just a barren void now. Not a single idea rattling around in there.
Cooper: That isn't what I'm thinking.
Chappell: Well what WERE you thinking? It feels like a weak echo of "I Have Been Looking For You" with none of the emotional context.
Cooper: That so?
Chappell: There's not a line in this script that feels original, nor a character who doesn't feel like a flat caricature. What's going on with this John J. Catherine I have to play, anyway? How do I make this guy sound dramatic and sympathetic, how do I make his hat placement superstition feel real and serious? What's going on with the guy?
Cooper: He's nuttier than a fruitcake.
Chappell: See, that's what I thought before, I thought it was some sort of unfunny comedy, but then you told me it's a fantasy!
Cooper: How do you tell em apart?
Chappell: A comedy is funny, and a fantasy has amazing things happen. This is neither.
Cooper: Good fun.
Chappell: I don't think you'll get any listeners agreeing with you.
Studio announcer: What's going on out there?
Chappell: Just discussing the script.
Cooper: What's the time?
Chappell: Eight twenty, we got a few minutes.
Cooper: I see.
Chappell: Where were we in the script? Ah, where James comes in. Any of this been helping you understand, James?
Conrad: No I don't understand it--
Cooper: That's what I figured.
Chappell: You've got about a minute of weak plot and 25 minutes of rambling on like a bum on a soapbox. How'd you come up with so many pages of filler?
Cooper: It's, uh, just like laying bricks.
Chappell: I'll bet.
Conrad: I don't know what he wants me to do!
Conrad: That's ALL.
[SFX: Conrad grumbles and walks off]
Chappell: Guess we lost James Monk.
Cooper: Too bad.
Chappell: We can just cut his lines, it's not like it makes it any worse. I'll leave longer pauses to make up the time.
Chappell: What about the part where John has been dead for 3 days? Can we punch that up a little? Add some last minute lines about his experience in the afterlife? Anything beats having him just show up and say "I guess I've been dead."
Cooper: Tired. I'm goin to bed.
[SFX: Cooper walks off]
Bit Part: Bill! Bill!
Bit Part: Bill! Bill! Where did he go?!
Chappell: Well folks, Bill Cooper just walked off. I guess this'll be the last episode of Quiet Please. We'll prolly just throw on a couple repeats until the contract runs out.
Studio announcer: Well better go ahead anyway we'll time the closing. Alright, here we go.
MUSIC THEME END